Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Can anyone help with my lowered immunity?

When people think about a depressive disorder, whether it be hormonally related or otherwise, they tend to think of the emotional aspects and not much else. However, anyone suffering will indeed have days where they feel very unwell as a result of their depression, and will often have multiple ailments too. This is often going hand in hand with the emotional disturbances and the whole system can become depressed, and even immune suppressed as the body suffers from the 'fight or flight' overload and adrenal exhaustion.

For years and years I have had multiple illnesses, allergies, sensitivities and an almost complete absence of immunity which has culminated in me picking up every circulating virus and bacteria. When you have children and a husband to look after its so frustrating and even harder to bear when people often make comments about you 'always being ill'. Sometimes I am ill so often I'm almost embarrassed to tell people, which does little for my self esteem and can even leave me feeling even more despondent as I despair of my own condition. Despite my emotional recovery, I still have this ability to be ill for most of the winter every year, and I can tell you its extremely difficult when you try every available remedy, holistic or otherwise in the hope that you can finally be well.

Since November I have had an almost continuous succession of illnesses and despite my reluctance to use antibiotics, I had a severe bout of flu and then the more horrendous tonsillitis which left me completely unable to cope. This  is all despite taking a cupboard full of supplements, maintaining an exercise routine and being a regular juicer! I also practise mindfulness and deep prayer in the hope of a complete recovery! I have searched high and low, read every available text and spend at least £100 at Holland and Barrett a month, in the hope that there will be an end to my collapsed immunity which came after years of suffering from a hormonal illness. It really is a never ending nightmare and I  feel so sorry for my family who have to  cope with it too as I am often bed ridden.

 However, there is one thing which I  haven't tried, and as we approached lent I thought I would give it try, and that is to give up wheat or anything containing gluten in the hope that my body will strengthen. I will also give up dairy if I see no improvement as this winter has been so disheartening,and almost well, depressing. I also am concerned that the amount of illnesses that I get could result in a mutation of cells, or even worse, a relapse in my mental state and a return of my disorder. Both of these notions fill me with horror, particularly when I am trying so hard to maintain my equilibrium and spending a fortune on my health.

It reading this blog, you feel that there is anything else I could try which will boost my immunity, please let me know and I would be so happy to hear from you. It maybe that you too have had this issue and have found  something helpful that I haven't yet tried.
Peace and love,
Suzi x

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Did you have problems after childbirth and can you help with reserach?

Although I have written a similar blog to this, the subject is so important that I feel the need to ask again for further help with research. At present there is an ongoing research programme being conducted at Birmingham University which has huge implications for women suffering from emotional disturbances after childbirth. This will help scientists understand more about the factors that make some women poorly, and will lead to better prediction and treatments for anyone who has had mood disorders. Clearly with the recent dramatic rise in sufferers, it is vital that we improve our understanding and in particular prepare the next generation being that is often hereditary.

The BDRN or Bipolar disorder and Postpartum Research is conducting the largest study so far and 6000 individuals have already taken part in these studies. However more help is needed and as we already know that mood disorders have a genetic trait, blood samples are still needed in order to find a cure. I am one of the 6000 women who has already taken part and it couldn't have been more interesting. One of the researchers travelled for several hours to visit and interviewed me with regards to my own illness. She then took a blood sample which was analysed, along with thousands of others in the hope that it will shed some light on the evil that is Postnatal illness. I am delighted to be part of this cutting edge research which delves deep into the DNA and tries to isolate that gene or genes responsible. It had the added bonus of helping me understand the illness, and that it was something in my genetic make up and not of my own making. In other words, it freed me of the guilt so many of us sufferers have with regard to our own situations. It was unavoidable, and I was always going to be ill, just as some people have heart disease or cancers in their own genetic makeup.

If you want to take part in this critical and often life saving research you can contact the research team directly. The leading lady is DR Katherine Gordon Smith and she can be contacted on 0212 301 2361 or at moodresearch@contacts.bham.ac.uk She is particularly interested in women who have had a period of 'elevated mood' or mania as is sometimes called. However I'm sure she would only be too happy to hear from anyone who is willing to help with this valuable study.

Blessings as usual. Suzi AKA Caroline Church x